by Paul D
Encounter with an angel.
|I sat beside Erica as she nervously drove slowly on the snow packed road, trying to keep the car from sliding all over the place. The fields of snow looked like cotton. She was upset because her wedding rehearsal was cancelled last night because of the unexpected snowfall. The sun was just peeking over the horizon. How can I get everything done before the wedding? Her thoughts were causing her a lot of stress like a load of bricks on her back.
Only a few cars were on the road. “I'm one of the crazy ones,” she muttered.
I happened to agree, but I kept silent as usual. Her car slipped and slid, and her heart jumped in her chest, but she continued driving. Thank goodness the church is not far away. No sooner were the words formed in her mind, than the tail end of the car suddenly went left. She stepped on the brake, and her car spun out of control.
It was at this point I stepped out of the car and guided it safely into the ditch. The car came to a teeth jarring stop. Erica was pressed forward into the steering wheel. Thank goodness for seatbelts. “Oh, great,” she sighed, “I really don't have time for this.”
She pulled her purse to her lap and removed her cell. She opened it, and I blocked any reception.
“What? No tone--oh bother.” She sat staring at the white world outside her window. I made myself visible and tapped at the window.
Where did you come from? Her thoughts made me smile.
She powered down the window. “Looks like you need help,” I said.
“Yeah, I need to get my car out of this ditch.”
I smiled. “Where are you going?”
“To the church.”
“Okay, I'll get you there.”
I placed my hand on the car, and instantly, we were in the parking lot of the church. I opened the car door, pulled Erica from the car, and carried her to the steps leading to the church. I became invisible again.
Erica stumbled on the first step of the stairs that went up to the entrance to the church. “How--” She looked around. Where did the young man go? The church door opened, and Phil, her fiance, stepped out. He waved to her and hurried down the steps.
He put his arm around her and warmly said, “Hi sweet Erica, I'm so glad to see you. How are you doing?”
“I'm . . . I--”
“What's wrong? You look like you saw a ghost.”
“I . . . how did I get here?”
Phil smiled and pointed at the parking lot. “Your car, of course.”
She turned and looked at her car. “I . . . I don't believe it.”
“Do you feel okay?”
“I-- What will he think if I tell him? I'm just a bit overwhelmed.”
Phil embraced her tight. “After the rehearsal, lie down, and rest awhile.”
“I won't have time for that. There's still so much to do.”
“Taking a few minutes will give you more energy, which you'll need later.”
She smiled. “Are you having naughty thoughts, dear?”
Phil blushed. “Not at all. I'm just sayin'.”
She squeezed him hard. “I'll take a short nap, just for you.”
“Good, you'll be glad you did.”
Erica walked hand in hand with Phil into the church. My car slid off the road. It was not a dream, but how--
I smiled; I was not supposed to reveal myself, but I couldn't let her miss her wedding.
Nigel Young, the Rector greeted them as they entered. “I'm glad you made it Erica. We're waiting on a couple of people. We can go over the vows ceremony, now.”
She squeezed Phil's hand and replied, “Okay, that's a good idea.”
An hour and a half later, the rehearsal was finished. Jenny, her sister and maid of honor, grabbed her arm and said, “You're not going to believe this. It has snowed like crazy since we've been in here.”
“It looks really bad outside.”
“Christmas is tomorrow. I still need to finish decorating the tree, and I wanted to make a fruit cake for Phil.”
“Do it in the morning.”
Erica rolled her eyes. “If we are up before noon, I'll be surprised.”
Jenny smiled. “You might celebrate Christmas in bed.”
“That's a naughty and nice thought. I want go outside and see how bad it is. What if we have to postpone the wedding?”
“Shhhhhh, the ceremony is five hours away. Don't borrow trouble.”
Phil came up and took her hand. “My parents want to take everyone to brunch.”
“I . . . food sounds good,” she agreed.
“I'm starved,” Jen added.
Erica sat beside Phil at one end of the long table. “I didn't realize I was so hungry,” she said in a low voice.
“Hummmmmmmmm, I'm still hungry.”
“Well, try harder. I can't believe it's almost noon.”
“You going to Jen's house after this?”
“Yeah, I won't be able to return home until after our ceremony.”
“You getting nervous?”
“Not yet, how about you?”
“I'm fine now, but later--who knows.”
Erica smiled. “I know what you mean.”
“I ate too much,” Erica complained as she dressed.
Jenny shook her head. “Phil will be drooling when he sees the undergarments you are wearing.”
“I sure hope so, and I want him to drool even more when they come off.”
“You don't need to worry, Sis. You're beautiful.”
“Thank you, Jen, but my fears are real. I've told him of my skin discoloration, but what if--”
“Sis, you can 'what if' yourself to death. Phil loves you--Erica. He loves the person you are. You're worrying for nothing.”
As Erica walked down the aisle, she was shaking a bit. I have waited for today for so long. It will be great. She continued up onto the elevated platform and stopped alongside Phil.
“You are beautiful, Erica. I love you so much.”
She beamed at him and replied, “You are so handsome my eyes are about to fall out. I love you too, Phil.”
Erica sat next to Phil as he drove to her house. “I wanted to have everything perfect for us. The snow interrupted my plans. I didn't even have time to put up a tree,” she explained.
I smiled to myself at the surprise I'd prepared for them.
“Sweetheart, I'm sure everything is just perfect. I'm just glad the road finally got plowed.”
“Yes, and it has stopped snowing too.”
Phil parked the car in her driveway and got out. “It looks icy out here; watch your step.”
They both walked gingerly to the house. Erica unlocked the front door, and I made the sound of wedding bells in her ears. She turned around and said, “Did you hear that?”
Phil shook his head. “Hear what?”
“Nothing, maybe it's just an after affect from the accident.”
“Accident? What are you talking about?”
Erica explained what happened on the way to church.
“You know I don't believe in angels, Erica. There has to be a rational explanation. Maybe you were so tired you just blanked out and dreamed the angel.”
Erica sighed. I would likely never be able to convince Phil of the truth. She stepped inside, turned on the lights, and stopped.
Phil said, “Wow, that Christmas tree must be the best ever. I love the snow angel on top. I thought you said you didn't have time to put up a tree.”
“I . . . I love it too; I didn't put the tree up, so can you explain how it got here?”
“From the store, of course,” Phil replied.
“Last night after I left.”
“The stores were all closed by the time you left, and the roads were a nightmare.”
“Well, maybe Santa brought it,” Phil offered.
Erica laughed. Thank you, Snow Angel, for this wonderful surprise.
I made myself visible once more in front of both of them. “Angels are all around you. Never forget that.” Then I vanished.